April 12, 2013 |
LONDON -- The British Broadcasting Corp. faced a dilemma Friday: Would it play "Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead" when everyone knows the song has become a biting reference to the late Margaret Thatcher? The network's solution: turn the song into a sound bite. Amid divisive reactions to the death of the former prime minister on Monday, anti-Thatcher protesters have campaigned to bring the song from the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" to the top of the charts in time for a BBC program Sunday night that counts down the current top hits.
January 9, 2013 |
GUANGZHOU, China - Like wedding guests separated across the aisle, the protesters assembled on either side of a gated driveway at the headquarters of the embattled Southern Weekly newspaper. To the right, several dozen supporters of the newspaper staff waved banners calling for an end to censorship of the Chinese press. "Freedom!" they chanted. "Democracy!" "Constitutional rights!" To the left, beneath fluttering red Chinese flags and hoisted portraits of Mao Tse-tung, a battalion of mostly older men shouted into a microphone, trying to drown out their ideological rivals.
January 8, 2013 |
GUANGZHOU, China -- Communist Party officials appear to have defused a potential crisis over media censorship in Guangzhou with a compromise that persuaded journalists at a maverick newspaper to publish Thursday as planned. The journalists at Southern Weekly, one of China's boldest and most popular publications, had threatened to strike in protest over a New Year's editorial on political reform that was watered down by propaganda officials. The exact terms of the deal were not released, but it appears that the journalists agreed to refrain from airing their grievances in public about Tuo Zhen, the propaganda chief for Guangdong province accused of the heavy-handed censorship that sparked the standoff.
December 27, 2012 |
BEIJING -- For years, China's net nannies turned the other cheek to a loophole in their vast online censorship apparatus. Anyone who wanted access to blocked overseas websites such as Twitter, Facebook, and more recently, the New York Times, need only download foreign software called a virtual private network (VPN) to circumvent the Great Firewall. But in recent weeks, even these tools have begun to falter, frustrating tech-savvy Chinese and foreign businesspeople who now struggle to access Internet sites as innocuous as gmail.com and imdb.com.
December 6, 2012 |
Chinese author Mo Yan was announced in October as the recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature; he's in Sweden now and will be presented with the award Monday. It was at a news conference in Stockholm that Mo made his disappointing statements in support of censorship. The Associated Press reports, "Mo said he doesn't feel that censorship should stand in the way of truth but that any defamation, or rumors, ' should be censored .' " The Nobel laureate then compared censorship to airport security checks.
October 18, 2012 |
BEIJING - For most of the last two decades, director Lou Ye has angered Chinese authorities by making movies that touch on sensitive subjects like sex and politics and then by screening them at foreign festivals without official approval. He's had multiple films banned, and was barred for years from even practicing his craft. His newest work, the dark melodrama "Mystery," looked like a chance for the 47-year-old to come in from the cold. Lou received approval from China's censorship body before screening his movie at the Cannes International Film Festival in May. After the festival, he registered the $2.6 million noirish tale, made with 20% French financial backing, as an official French-Chinese co-production.